A meeting between representatives from the recently evicted Dey Krahorm community, the 7NG company and Phnom Penh municipal officials scheduled for Tuesday was canceled late Monday evening but officials said it will be rescheduled before the end of this week.
The meeting was canceled because officials were too busy organizing municipal, district and city council elections taking place in May, Prime Minister Hun Sen’s deputy cabinet chief Lim Leang said by telephone Tuesday.
“The meeting could not take place because the municipal side could not attend, but it will be arranged within this week,” Lim Leang Se said.
Former Dey Krahorm residents and rights groups have organized a series of protests since the violent evictions on Jan 24 in an attempt to get 7NG to give cash compensation to those who lost their homes. 7NG has said those who did not except the cash compensation offered ahead of the eviction will not get any now. The meeting was an attempt to reach a final agreement between the parties.
Dey Krahorm village representative Han Sar said the cancellation of the meeting would mean greater suffering for families already living in difficult conditions. He urged the municipality and company representatives to reschedule the meeting as soon as possible.
“Villagers are anxiously waiting to discuss with relevant officials because they want to have a solution soon. Villagers now encounter difficulties as a result of losing their homes and not having any money,” he said.
Despite repeated attempts, 7NG Director Srey Chanthuo, company adviser Srey Sothea and representative Cheang Bona could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
Cheang Bona said in an interview Monday that 7NG will not offer villagers cash compensation but will only provide housing in Damnak Trayoeng village in Dangkao district about 40 minutes outside of Phnom Penh.
Phnom Penh Municipal Deputy Governor Mann Chhoeun said Tuesday he didn’t know the meeting had been scheduled, canceled or was about the be rescheduled, but said he would attend if he was asked by Governor Kep Chuktema.
Kep Chuktema could not be reached for comment.